We all know that running a business can be a lot of legwork, and sometimes its nice to let the client stretch theirs. That's exactly why ShootQ added Online Scheduling to the list of things it can do for you.
To start using this feature, navigate here in your ShootQ account:
Settings > Online Scheduling
The first thing that you will need to do in order to get some of this new scheduling power into your clients' hands is to define when you are available by laying out your business hours. It's fine if you don't keep regular business hours, but you still want to define when you are typically available during the week and then you can deal with specific dates and times down the road.
It's also a good idea to consider what you might want to use this feature for when you are laying out these business hours. If you want to use it to simplify the process of scheduling your portrait shoots, then you should identify the particular days and times that you typically choose to schedule portrait sessions and make those available. Then create an additional Schedule that is strictly for your Business meetings for your Studio.
Once you have established when you are generally available, it is a good idea to get a handle on how you can adjust for times that you are already booked, whether it is for another shoot, a dentist appointment or just some time to yourself. You will handle this by defining Blackout Calendars. The Online Scheduling feature integrates with ShootQ's powerful Calendar system by allowing you to define certain Calendars that are feeding into ShootQ to be taken into consideration with the availability in Online Scheduling. You may find it is best to have all of your work and personal calendars added to this blackout list, so that you never run the risk of double booking yourself.
Hover over any section to remove the period, blackout, or entire schedule:
Now, you are ready to get ShootQ and your clients working for you, by letting the client schedule their appointment times. Start by visiting a shoot and clicking the Add an Event/Appointment button on the shoot overview page.
You will see a pop-up window with two options and you can choose to manually schedule the appointment yourself or Request an Appointment.
Choosing the first of these options will simply call up your monthly calendar and you can double click on an available time slot to add the appointment.
You will also notice that you have separate calendars for all of your Users in ShootQ, so your whole team can schedule their individual calendars without confusion.
But the real meat and potatoes of this feature is passing off this responsibility to the client, as it will save you time and energy that would normally be exhausted with emails and phone calls back and forth to find a mutually agreeable time. To do this simply click on that Request an Appointment button in the previous pop-up window. Here you can define the Event Name, who the client will be meeting with, at what location and how long the appointment will be, and what Schedule to choose the appointment from.
You also have an option labeled Within that allows you to define a period that the meeting needs to take place within.
One of the several options available is to define a specific date range, where you can use the resulting calendar to specify when you would like the meeting to occur.
Once you click Continue, you will be prompted to send the client an email which will automatically contain the link where they can choose their appointment time. Putting all this power into the hands of your client might be a little concerning for some, but we've got you covered. Your schedule is yours, after all. So that there is no chance of you getting double booked, you always have the ability to accept or decline a chosen appointment time, just like you do with Proposals. That way, you are always the one calling the shots.
The appointment request and its current status will display in your Lead's Overview, and on the calendar.
You will need to accept the appointment. An appointment will not appear on your ShootQ calendar as a "booked" appointment until it is Accepted by you. You can also Reschedule which will give you an opportunity to email your client again with your availability. You can also Cancel the request altogether. When you can Cancel a request, the client is NOT automatically notified.
Finally, you will be prompted to send an a email confirmation to your client, notifying them the appointment has been scheduled.